[250702Z.OH 06/16/96]

ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE

ROUTINE

R 250702Z OCT 93 ZYB PSN 829981P37

FM CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI//J2//

TO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP: RSA//

INFO WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASH DC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC//CA/OCS/CCS/EAP/VLC//
JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//J5//
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J2/J3/J30-M//
USCINCPAC LO WASHINGTON DC
DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBT/CJTFFA DET ONE BANGKOK TH
RUEHBT/USDAO BANGKOK TH//PW-MIA//
JICPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS //N03460//

MSGID/GENADMIN/CDR JTF-FA/J2//

SUBJ/INTERVIEW OF REQUESTED SOURCE. TRAN CONG MAN//

REF/A/FAX/DET 2/16OCT93//

AMPN/SUBJ/ENTRY NUMBER 45. LIST OF 83 INTERVIEW REQUESTS// THE
FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS A VERBATIM TRANSCRIPTION OF AN ORAL HISTORY
PROJECT FIELD REPORT.//

RMKS/l. BACKGROUND. ON 18 AUG 1993. A JOINT U.S./VIETNAM ORAL
HISTORY PROGRAM INTERVIEW TEAM INTERVIEWED MAJOR GENERAL (MG) TRAN
CONG MAN. A 67-YEAR-OLD HANOI RESIDENT. MG MAN IS CURRENTLY
VICE-SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE VIETNAM JOURNALISTS' ASSOCIATION.
FORMERLY EDITOR AND CHIEF OF THE PEOPLE'S ARMY NEWSPAPER. THE TEAM
MET AT THE VIETNAM JOURNALISTS' ASSOCIATION HEADQUARTERS. 59 LY THAI

TO STREET. HANOI. TO INTERVIEW MG MAN. LISTED IN REFERENCE AS A
POTENTIAL SOURCE OF INFORMATION CONCERNING U.S. PERSONNEL MISSING IN
ACTION IN VIETNAM. THE U.S. CONTINGENT CONSISTED OF MR.
[XXXX][XXXX][XXXX], DET 2, JOINT TASK FORCE-FULL ACCOUNTING (JTF-FA)
RESEARCHER/HISTORIAN,  AND P02 [XXXX][XXXX][XXXX], JTF-FA
ANALYST/LINGUIST. THE VIETNAMESE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CONTINGENT
CONSISTED OF LTC LE KY, MINISTRY OF DEFENSE; AND MR. NGUYEN THANH LOI.
MINISTRY OF INTERIOR. TRAN CONG MAN HAD NOT BEEN INTERVIEWED BY A JOINT
TEAM BEFORE.

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2. SUMMARY. THE SOURCE, TRAN CONG MAN, PROVIDED A SUMMARY OF THE
METHODS USED BY PEOPLE'S ARMY NEWSPAPER REPORTERS TO WRITE ARTICLES
ABOUT AMERICAN PRISONERS AND U.S. AIRCRAFT SHOOTDOWNS IN VIETNAM. HE
RELATED NO INFORMATION ABOUT U.S. PERSONNEL MISSING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
AND CLAIMED NO KNOWLEDGE OF U.S. PERSONNEL LIVING AGAINST THEIR WILL
IN VIETNAM SINCE 1973.

3. DETAILS.
    A. AFTER FORMAL INTRODUCTIONS. MR. [XXXX] EXPLAINED THE JOINT
TEAM'S MISSION AND INVITED MG TRAN CONG MAN (TRAANF COON MAAN) TO
SHARE HIS KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCES CONCERNING NEWS AGENCY
INFORMATION GATHERING. BOTH DURING AND AFTER THE WAR AGAINST AMERICA,
AND PROVIDE THE TEAM WITH ANY INFORMATION HE HAS RELATING TO U.S.
PW'S AND MIA'S. MG MAN BEGAN BY SAYING THAT UNTIL 1954  HE WAS
FIGHTING AGAINST THE FRENCH AS AN INFANTRY CADRE IN 1964,  HE BECAME
VICE CHIEF EDITOR OF THE PEOPLE'S ARMY NEWSPAPER (BAOS QUAAN DOOIJ
NHAAN ZAAN) AND WAS THEN PROMOTED TO CHIEF EDITOR IN 1978. HE SAID
THAT HE REMAINED IN THIS POSITION FOR OVER 11 YEARS. TRANSFERRING
FROM THE PEOPLE'S ARMY NEWSPAPER TO THE VIETNAM JOURNALISTS'
ASSOCIATION (HOOIJ NHAF BAOS) IN EARLY 1990, WHERE HE NOW IS THE VICE
SECRETARY GENERAL.
    B. HE SAID THAT TO THE BEST OF HIS KNOWLEDGE, ALL UNITS REPORTED
INCIDENTS INVOLVING  U.S. FORCES TO THEIR MILITARY COMMAND,  AND IF
PRISONERS WERE' CAPTURED THIS INFORMATION WAS ALSO PASSED TO THE ENEMY
PROSELYTING OFFICE. THE NEWSPAPER REPORTERS NEVER WENT TO
BATTLEFIELDS OR CRASH SITES TO GATHER INFORMATION MG MAN CONTINUED,
SAYING THAT ALL OF THE INFORMATION PUBLISHED IN THE PEOPLE'S ARMY
NEWSPAPER WAS PROVIDED BY THE POLITICAL OR ENEMY PROSELYTING SECTIONS OF
THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT TO THE POLITICAL SECTION OF THE MILITARY
NEWS AGENCY FOR DISSEMINATION TO VIETNAMESE RADIO STATIONS AND
NEWSPAPERS. THIS INFORMATION,  HE SAID,  WAS VERY GENERAL AND WAS
RECORDED BY MILITARY UNITS IN THE FIELD OR THE MILITARY NEWS AGENCY
RECORDS OF THIS TYPE,  INCLUDING PICTURES' HE OPINED,  MAY POSSIBLY BE
FOUND IN OPERATIONS AND ENEMY PROSELYTING SECTIONS, OR IN THE
POSSESSION OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. MG MAN SAID THAT HE DOES NOT
KNOW IF ANY OF THESE RECORDS STILL EXIST BECAUSE VIETNAM DID NOT AND
DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPABILITIES TO KEEP LARGE AMOUNTS OF RECORDS.
THIS COMPOUNDED BY THE NEED TO MOVE QUICKLY DURING WARTIME MADE IT
NECESSARY TO DESTROY ANY MATERIAL WHICH WAS NOT ESSENTIAL. IF
IMPORTANT RECORDS WERE DESTROYED,  HE ADDED, REPORTS WERE SOMETIMES
MADE RECORDING THE DESTRUCTION,  BUT HE DOES NOT KNOW WHERE THESE
REPORTS WOULD BE  KEPT.
    C. HE SAID THAT THE PEOPLE'S NEWSPAPER ONLY SAVES PREVIOUSLY
PRINTED MATERIALS FOR HISTORICAL PURPOSES. THE REPORTERS,  HE SAID,
WERE NOT REQUIRED TO KEEP THEIR WORKING NOTES OR GIVE THEM TO THE
NEWSPAPER. HE SAID THAT IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOME OF THE INDIVIDUAL
REPORTERS MAY HAVE KEPT THEIR NOTES AFTER COMPLETING AN ARTICLE AND
THEY MAY BE THE ONLY SOURCE OF WARTIME INFORMATION
     D. IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS CONCERNING ARTICLES CONTAINING

                                Page 2

STATEMENTS MADE BY PRISONERS. MG MAN SAID THAT THE REPORTERS NEVER
ACTUALLY MET AMERICAN PW'S OUTSIDE OF GOVERNMENT SPONSORED PRESS
CONFERENCES. THE PROSELYTING CADRE PROVIDED THE REPORTERS
INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PW'S STATEMENTS DURING QUESTIONING AND THE
ARTICLES WERE WRITTEN BASED ON THIS INFORMATION OR SOMETIMES U.S.
PRISONERS WERE BROUGHT TO PRESS CONFERENCES FOR QUESTIONING BY BOTH
VIETNAMESE AND FOREIGN REPORTERS
    E. MG MAN STATED THAT HE WAS AWARE OF THREE PW HOLDING FACILITIES
DURING THE WAR. BUT HE NEVER WENT TO ANY OF THEM, NOR DID HE EVER MEET
ANY PW'S. THESE FACILITIES WERE LOCATED AT 12 LY NAM DE STREET. HOA LO.
AND SON TAY. HE SAID THAT PRISONERS WERE NOT HIS CONCERN.
    F. MG MAN SAID THAT SINCE THE RETURN OF ALL U.S. PW'S IN 1973,  HE
HAS NOT HAD KNOWLEDGE OF ANY U.S. PW'S IN VIETNAM. HE ALSO SAID THAT HE
HAS HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF ANY AMERICAN SERVICEMEN LIVING FREELY IN VIETNAM
SINCE THE WAR, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BOBBY GARWOOD. HE SAID THAT HE
NEVER MET OR HAD FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE OF BOBBY GARWOOD,  HOWEVER HE
RECALLED THAT MR. GARWOOD HAD CROSSED-OVER IN THE SOUTH DURING THE WAR,
THEN MOVED TO THE NORTH WHERE HE LIVED FREELY UNTIL RETURNING TO THE
U.S. MG MAN SAID THAT HE LATER HEARD MR. GARWOOD CLAIMED TO BE A PW
AFTER HIS RETURN TO THE U.S., BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE. MG MAN  SAID. IN
CONCLUSION MG MAN SAID THAT IN 1973 NORTH VIETNAM'S MAIN GOAL  WAS TO
LIBERATE THE SOUTH. HAD THE NORTH KEPT AMERICAN PRISONERS AFTER 1973
THE AMERICANS WOULD NOT HAVE LEFT VIETNAM. MAKING THE LIBERATION OF THE
SOUTH MUCH MORE DIFFICULT THERE WAS NO ADVANTAGE TO KEEPING PRISONERS
SECRETLY,  HE SAID. THE CONSEQUENCES OF DISCOVERY, HE SAID,  GREATLY
OUTWEIGHED ANY ADVANTAGE THAT MAY HAVE BEEN GAINED BY KEEPING PRISONERS.
THE IDEA WAS TO GET ALL OF THE AMERICANS OUT OF VIETNAM.
    G. WITH NO FURTHER QUESTIONS FOR MG MAN,  THE JOINT TEAM AGREED
TO CONCLUDE THE INTERVIEW.

4. CORRELATIONS TO EXISTING POW/MIA CASES. NONE.

5. POTENTIAL LEADS NONE.

6.  MATERIAL EVIDENCE: NONE. THIS SOURCE BROUGHT NO RECORDS,
NOTEBOOKS. DIARIES,  OR ANY MATERIAL EVIDENCE ASSOCIATED WITH
UNACCOUNTED FOR U.S. PERSONNEL.

/ /

MSGID/GENADMIN/CDR JTF-FA/J2//

SUBJ/INTERVIEW OF REQUESTED SOURCE, TRAN CONG MAN//

RMKS/

7. COMMENTS

                                Page 3


    A. THE MEMBERS OF THE JOINT TEAM CONFERRED ON THE QUESTIONS TO BE
ASKED DURING THIS INTERVIEW TEAM MEMBERS AGREED THAT THE NEED TO
REINTERVIEW THIS SUBJECT WOULD DEPEND ON WHETHER FURTHER QUESTIONS FOR
MG MAN ARISE DURING THE COURSE OF THE ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW TEAM'S
FUTURE WORK.
    B. REQUEST THE VNOSMP MAKE MG MAN AVAILABLE FOR REINTERVIEW IF
NECESSARY.//

BT

DLVR:CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI(1)...ORIG
J2(1)...INFO FOR USCINCPAC HONOLULU H(13)
  J30-M(1) J3(1) 00-01-04(1) WWMCS(0) MDT(0) LRN061PCMT(0) J52(1)
  J51(1) Jl(l) J032(3) J03(1) CD0(2)

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